Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Cake on a Hot Tin Roof

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof (Piece of Cake Mystery - Book 2) by Jacklyn Brady

Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 297pp
ISBN-13: 978-0425246221
ISBN: 0425246221

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Jacklyn Brady (Sherry Lewis) on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter

Books in the series: A Sheetcake Named Desired (2011), Cake on a Hot Tin Roof (2012), Arsenic & Old Cake (2012)

CoverArt: Click on the picture for a larger, clearer image of covers in this series. 

Excerpt from Cake on a Hot Tin Roof (Amazon Look Inside Feature)


Let the good times roll!

It's carnival season in New Orleans, and pastry chef Rita Lucero has a lot on her plate. Filling orders for king cakes is becoming a royal pain. Her second-in-command at Zydeco Cakes - the bakery she inherited from her ex-husband - is hounding her to write a blog for the bakery's new website. And now Rita is expected to host a Mardi Gras party for hundreds of her ex-husband's closest friends. A surprise visit from her aunt Yolanda and uncle Nestor is almost more than she can handle.

But when local car salesman and minor celebrity Big Daddy Boudeaux turns up dead at Rita's Mardi Gras party after a public fight with her uncle, Rita has no choice but to find room in her busy schedule to prove the killer isn't Uncle Nestor. And there's a whole parade of suspects - but not much time to find out which one really wanted Big Daddy in a big coffin...


Jacklyn Brady is obviously a Tennessee Williams fan. Her second Piece of Cake Mystery, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is just as well written as the first book in the series. Brady's choice of setting and her ability to write well crafted and interesting characters set this one apart from the pack. this cozy follows the adventures of an amateur sleuth that doubles as a pastry chef in a New Orleans bakery. Readers who enjoy a book that balances sleuthing and personal drama will like this one a lot!

Jacklyn Brady gives readers a couple of key ingredients that make an ordinary cozy something great. By choosing New Orleans as the setting for this series, Brady gives herself a lot of room. She can focus her mysteries around many different aspects of the city including the theme from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Mardi Gras. There is a lot of potential with this setting. New Orleans is a very well known city and it's history is long and varied. Brady does a fantastic job of adding a lot of local color to her books and gives the reader that overall festive feeling. 

The second thing that Brady does right with this one has to do with character development. When readers first met Rita in the first book in the series, A Sheetcake Named Desire. They saw a very feisty, independent woman who could take charge and get things done. In this book, Rita is really struggling to make ends meet. The bakery is barely surviving. I think Brady showed Rita a character that adapts and makes the most of the moments she is afforded. Rita grows a lot in this book as a person and a sleuth. Her investigative skills are getting better, but she still does make a few mistakes that add some fuel to the fire, but it wouldn't be a good cozy otherwise, would it?

The mystery aspect of things was well written and wlll easily keep the reader guessing. Big Daddy wasn't exactly the most popular of persons. He had a jealous wife, a few family skeletons in his closet and some shady business deals on the table. I thought Brady did a great job of providing suspects and plausible reasons as to why they'd want to kill Big Daddy. I also liked the fact that Brady allowed Rita's personal life to kind of spill over into her sleuthing by making Uncle Nestor a suspect. Very well written and full of surprises.

Brady is able to craft a story that is not only entertaining but different from your average cozy. It's set in the big city. Rita's day job as a pastry chef doesn't seem to take backseat to her sleuthing and the red herrings that Brady throws in to throw readers off are actually believable. I'm glad I wasn't the one tasked to find this killer. I don't think I would have done half as good a job as Rita did. Very enjoyable book!

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof is available NOW from your favorite bookseller. 

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Cake on a Hot Tin Roof by Jacklyn Brady. 

~ You must be a GFC follower or an E-mail subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only!
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST March 20th.

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Linda Kish said...

It does sound entertaining. Someday, maybe I can go to New Orleans and discover this wonderful city for myself.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Stacie said...

I love New Orleans & I'm anxious to read this series. I have the first one on my TBR pile. I agree the Mardi Gras theme looks like it gives this storyline a lot of possibilities.I really loved this authors other series under her other pen name so I know this series is going to be a winner. Hope I win :) Thanks for the giveaway!


lag123 said...

Cozies and New Orleans! What could be better?

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Theresa N. said...

I my a fan of New Orleans and mysteries and who doesn't love a good cake.
Theresa N

Rachel V said...

This book sounds really good. I havent read any books from this author before. I do love a good mystery and with cakes in it also. Yum!!!

pefrw at yahoo dot com

Carol N Wong said...

Oh, I want that cake! I read a different cozy set in New Orleans and it was great. Never had the chance to try this author as of yet.


Karen B said...

Books with titles that are takeoffs on movies that I love - sign me up!!

Martha Lawson said...

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof! Love the title! I love books set in or around New Orleans and this one sounds awesome. Please enter me.

Sue Farrell said...

A cozy set in New Orleans is just perfect---plus I think I'll probably drool at the descriptions of her pastry creations. Thanks for the giveaway contest.

My Recent Favorite Books said...

Sounds like a very interesting series! Thanks for the giveaway!

bn100 said...

This sounds like a very fun and interesting book.

In Julie's Opinion said...

I'm also a Tennessee Williams fan so I'm hooked already!! I can't wait to read this book! Thanks so much for the awesome review and giveaway:)

Renee said...

I love New Orleans and this sounds just like another reason to love it!

Beth said...

This series looks so good! Thanks for the review!

Carol M said...

I love stories set in New Orleans. This sounds good!

Dianne11 said...

New Orleans is a favorite city. Love stories set there. This sounds like fun.

Becky said...

Looking forward to reading this book. Thanks.

LB said...

My fave cozy mysteries are culonay ones where the setting is also the star, so this sounds right up my alley!

catslady said...

Although I haven't read the first book, this sounds like a great mystery series!


mamabunny13 said...

I have this series on my wish list!